JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Where’s It Headed?

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) shares were trading a penny shy of $50. Today, the superbank has broken through the $50 barrier, and is trading at $50.21 two hours into the day: up 1.09% since the opening bell after being up 0.13% in overnight trading.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) stock hasn’t traded at better than $50 per share since before the financial crisis. Given the trials and travails the bank has been experiencing lately, and truthfully, ever since the London Whale trading scandal broke last year, this is a bit of a shocker — one that defies easy explanation.

Market roundup
And before we even attempt one, here’s what JPMorgan’s peers and the markets are up to so far:

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is already up a big 2.16%.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is also up big: 1.91%.

Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) — the low-drama, Steady Eddie of big banking — is up a more measured 1.15%.

The markets are all in the green so far, as well:

The broader S&P 500 is up 0.80%.

The narrower Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.50%.

The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.77%.

Foolish bottom line
Without a doubt, the primary explanation for today’s share-price jump is the simple fact that the markets are all up. A rising tide is lifting all boats. But JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) had a big day yesterday, too, while its peers didn’t, and today’s bull market can’t explain that.

Yesterday, I posited that investors were perhaps coming to their senses regarding this upcoming, nonsensical proxy vote to remove CEO Jamie Dimon from the role of chairman at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). In a nutshell, Dimon is being crucified for a $6 billion loss in last year’s London Whale trading scandal at a bank with more than $2 trillion in assets, after presiding over three straight years of record profits.

On top of that, no big bank came through the financial crisis in better shape. Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) came through in as good a shape, but not necessarily better. And the strength of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s balance sheet is due solely to Dimon’s abilities as a risk manager. Were the botched London Whale trades an issue? Yes, but Dimon and his team went overboard in addressing them: Dimon practically replaced all of upper management last year in response.



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